‘Hats On’ Event to Highlight Private Collection

Wearable art to raise funds for homeless youth on May 15

by Josef Molnar

For years, Garry Klaassen’s hat collection has been the highlight of his many get-togethers, and after warming up his guests, he opens the doors to his storage space. What inevitably follows is a spirited and playful exploration of the more than 100 varieties of multiple materials and colors, from small and perky caps to wide-brimmed and flashy chapeaus.

Now, the first annual Hats On fundraiser for homeless youth this Sunday is bringing the collection to the general public.

Sara Fernandez, board member of the Association for Family and Community Integrity, which is hosting the event, said some of the hats are true works of art. “They are just gorgeous. They are out of this world,” she said. “They are beautiful things for people to see.”

Unlike many shows, however, guests will have the chance to touch and even try on the accessories. “This is a hat show, with the hats on display as you expect, but the added dimension is that you can touch and play with them,” Fernandez said.

The AFCI event hopes to raise funds to support its mission of helping homeless LGBT youth to reconnect to their families through education and support. The event, which takes place on May 15 at Beautique Day Spa and Salon, 2507 Times Boulevard, near West University, will also offer alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and hors d’oeuvres.  The group is requesting a $25 donation from attendees.

Klaassen’s hat collection began with a single piece, which he picked up at a garage sale many years ago, but his interest in them began long before that. “There’s something about a woman in a hat that gets my attention,” he said.

The organization is very close to Klaassen’s heart, and he is happy to help raise funds for the group. He said his collection, which is continually growing, may seem unusual to some, but even though he has more than 100 pieces, he’s not about to stop looking for more. “Some people say that’s a little over the top,” he said, “but I’m a little over the top.”

Klaassen said his own experience at a hat party showed the unique power of the accessory. “You find out you end up talking to people you might not normally talk to,” he said. “Because people are wearing interesting hats, you end up talking to them. It’s a good ice breaker.”

Fernandez said the event will bring people together for fun, fellowship, and a shared purpose to help runaways. “The idea is for people to have fun,” she said. “We’re focusing on people enjoying themselves and helping out at the same time.”

Hats On! The Party
With the right hat, nothing else matters…

The Party:
May 15, 2-5:00 p.m. at the Beautique: Mix and mingle, win door prizes, eat and drink — all while supporting GLBT youth and their families.

The Hats:
The always delightful and charming Garry Klaassen’s collection of over 100 hats will inspire and delight you and … on May 15th  we will have the privilege of  admiring, touching and playing with these works of art.

Our Friends:
Generous donations include: Wine from David Garza, Photography by Adam, and the venue provided by Beautique Day Spa and Salon.

Don’t miss out on the chance to catch up with wonderful friends, nosh, try on or admire fantastic hats and have a photograph to remember it by.
The $25 suggested donation will benefit the Association for Family and Community Integrity.

Fundraiser for Association for Family and Community Integrity, Inc.
Sunday, May 15 from 2 – 5:00 PM
Beautique Day Spa and Salon
2507 Times Boulevard
Houston, TX 77005


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